Prince William wins dragon boat race in Singapore ahead of Earthshot Prize ceremony

ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports on the Prince of Wales's first day in Singapore

The Prince of Wales helped row his team into the lead during a dragon boat race in Singapore, ahead of the Earthshot Prize awards - an annual event to promote solutions for the planet’s environmental threats.

Wearing a life vest and a black cap, Prince William sat in a long narrow boat as he paddled with athletes from the British Dragons club on the Kallang river.

Working in pairs, William and the other 19 team members rowed to the beat of a drummer standing in the bow.

His boat triumphed in a brief head-to-head race against another captained by British High Commissioner Kara Owen.

Monday was not the first time the prince has tried his hand at dragon boating, he also took to the waters with his wife, Kate, during a tour of Canada in 2011.

Dragon boat racing, can be traced back nearly 2,000 years to China before it became a modern international sport in 1976.

"I was lucky enough to be sitting next to him, and he is just a really nice guy," said Laura Greenwood, a British expat who is a member of the British Dragons.

"He has dragon boated before, so he felt kind of confident in what he was doing... it was quite fast pace, so he kept up really well,” she added.

The 41-year-old prince arrived in Singapore on Sunday, ahead of the annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony, the first to be held in Asia.

William and his Royal Foundation charity launched the global environment competition in 2020 to promote innovative solutions and technologies to combat global warming and repair the planet.

Prince William, on the boat at right, participates in a dragon boat event in Singapore, on Monday. Credit: AP

William is to address a star-studded award ceremony on Tuesday, where winners will be named in five categories: nature protection, clean air, ocean revival, waste elimination, and climate change.

Each winner will get £1 million to help them scale up their projects so they can make a bigger worldwide impact.

All 15 finalists, representing six continents and selected from 1,300 nominees this year, will receive help in expanding their projects.

Actors Hannah Waddingham and Sterling K. Brown will co-host the event, which will also be attended by wildlife conservationist Robert Irwin and celebrities, including Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett and actors Lana Condor and Nomzamo Mbatha.

The prize’s name refers to the late President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 “moonshot” speech, which challenged Americans to reach the moon by the end of that decade.

William speaks of his faith the world can ‘repair and regenerate our planet’

The Prince of Wales is in Singapore for the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA

It inspired the prince and his partners to set a similar goal for finding solutions to environmental problems by 2030.

The inaugural ceremony was held in London in 2021 and the second in Boston last year.

William’s office at Kensington Palace said Singapore was chosen to host this year’s ceremony because of its role as a “hub for innovation” in Southeast Asia.

During his four-day visit, his first to the city-state since 2012, William will meet with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He also plans to attend the United for Wildlife summit, featuring representatives from law enforcement agencies, conservation groups and corporations working to combat trade in illegal wildlife products, estimated at $20 billion annually.

For the latest royal news, listen to our podcast, the Royal Rota...